(Public domain image).

Red Deer public fears about mobile SCS units may transpire — or not

No application, so far, for safe injection trailer

“We are not in favour of aiding and abetting drug users in any way.”

“We are tired of homeless, druggies, garbage and break ins!!… Obviously these people won’t want help or they would be in the programs already offered.”

“I am completely and strongly opposed to safe injection sites…”

These and dozens of other strongly worded comments from the community were received by the City of Red Deer received in response to feedback forms about possible stops for a mobile supervised drug injection site.

Safe Harbour Society director Kath Hoffman said she ‘gets’ these public sentiments.

“I don’t think these people are being mean. They’re just saying, ‘We’re fed up’ ” — with needle debris, crime, panhandling and public disturbance.

“I don’t want all that in my backyard either,” added Hoffman. “It’s just that there’s nothing else to offer them (drug addicts).”

While many people are calling for a local drug treatment centre, the province isn’t yet funding one. “You’ve got to give them something or just let them die off…. and if we’re going to do something, then what kind of something?” asked Hoffman.


City council approves mobile SCS bylaw

On Monday, Red Deer city council approved a bylaw allowing a safe injection trailer to operate in the city and stop at two locations — Safe Harbour mat program parking lot at 5246 53rd Ave. and the Red Deer hospital parking lot at 3942 50A Ave.

So far, no local agency has filed an application to operate a mobile SCS. Turning Point’s executive-director Stacy Carmichael is out of town and could not be reached for comment.

Hoffman supports Carmichael, who wants open a permanent SCS. While a mobile SCS is better than nothing, the two women don’t think it’s adequate for Red Deer’s opioid crisis.

Noting a permanent site is the best-practise model, Hoffman fears a trailer could create exactly the kind of disturbances that are feared: Drug addicts would line up outside to take their turn at one of two supervised injection cubicles, creating the potential for neighbourhood problems.

With a permanent SCS, clients wait inside. Hoffman said workers build relationships with drug users, which could potentially lead them towards getting help.

Coun. Dianne Wyntjes affirmed her support for a permanent SCS at Monday’s meeting.

The problem continues to be where would it be located? As many Red Deerians have stated: they don’t want it downtown or near businesses or residences.

Hoffman will discuss having the mobile unit stop at the Safe Harbour parking lot with her board — if an application for a SCS trailer is submitted to the city.

“We are now waiting for an application,” said Erin Stuart, the city’s inspections and licensing manager. Because there are public concerns about safety and loitering, Stuart said when an application is received, conditions can be imposed on the license, including hours of SCS operation, when the trailer must leave the site, security and clean-up measures.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Buccaneers battle Wolfpack in AFL semifinal

The Central Alberta Buccaneers battled the Calgary Wolfpack in the Alberta Football… Continue reading

Raising awareness for Bikers Against Child Abuse

Second annual Raise A Ruckus Against Child Abuse was held at the Red Deer Radisson Hotel Saturday

Central Alberta Yogathon cancelled Saturday

Due to air quality concerns the fourth annual event will take place Sept. 15

City Hall Park construction begins next week

Construction to update Red Deer’s City Hall Park is set to begin… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Jazz at the Lake begins

The 16 annual event began Friday and runs until Sunday in Sylvan Lake

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

Thousands to attend funeral service for officers killed in Fredericton shooting

FREDERICTON — Hundreds of people have lined the route of a funeral… Continue reading

Calgary police officer seriously injured

CALGARY — The Calgary Police Service says one of its officers was… Continue reading

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

MONTREAL — Canadian politicians are adding their voices to the international reaction… Continue reading

‘Four of a dozen kids will not make it:’ Tina Fontaine’s family healing together

WINNIPEG — Melissa Stevenson was just starting her career 18 years ago… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $16 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $16 million jackpot… Continue reading

Hundreds of neo-Nazis march in Berlin, protected by police

BERLIN — Hundreds of neo-Nazis waving flags with the colours of the… Continue reading

Romanian trucker is Genoa bridge’s 43rd victim

GENOA, Italy — The Latest on the Italy bridge collapse (all times… Continue reading

1 dead, 6 injured after building collapse in Nigeria capital

ABUJA, Nigeria — An emergency response chief says one person is dead… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month